Grilled cheese is just one of those dishes – it doesn’t matter what time of day it is or how you’re feeling, it’s always good. I’m probably one of the biggest food snobs out there. I’m also 14, and being 14 comes with a heck of a lot of junk food attached. My friends seem to think that cheese in a can or a bag of Cheetos is just as good as the food I spend hours on end making for them; I, on the other hand beg to differ. My 23-year-old brother ruined any kind of junk food guilty pleasure for me. Growing up, he lived on french bread pizza and frozen burritos while I made roasted duck for the family. But, if he taught me anything food wise, it was that you must be forever grateful for a good grilled cheese, so I am.
The idea of “kid food” is constantly a pet peeve of mine. Why do kids need to eat cloyingly sweet or disgustingly greasy food just because they’re kids? I never got it. However, there is one food in that category that instantly makes me happy and that I can’t live without, and that, my friend, is the grilled cheese! I’m all for the American Kraft-single and Wonder bread grilled cheese, and I’m a believer in not messing with something that’s already perfect. However, I thought grilled cheese taken to a gourmet level could quite possibly be the best guilty pleasure in the world, so I went ahead and took that opportunity to make the ultimate foodie’s delight.
Gooey Swiss cheese, truffled Shitake mushrooms, herbs and a balsamic syrup make for heaven on a piece of buttery brioche. It might not beat the all-American grilled cheese and tomato, but it certainly pleases my grilled cheese cravings with a decadent twist.
Truffled Mushroom and Balsamic Grilled Cheese
- 2 tsp truffle oil
- 4 tsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp sage
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped Shitake mushrooms
- 2 slices brioche or any type of thick bread
- sea salt
- coarse pepper
1. Place a cast iron pan on medium – high heat, add 1 tsp butter and let warm.
2. In a small saucepan, place balsamic vinegar and turn on medium heat until it forms a syrup-like consistency.
3. In a sauté pan, place 2 tsp of butter, 1 tsp of truffle oil and thinly cut mushrooms on high heat, until crisp and cooked. Set aside.
4. Cut two thick slices of brioche and lay on flat surface, spread remaining softened butter on both sides of each piece of bread then place cheese, mushrooms, thyme, balsamic, salt + pepper and remaining truffle oil. Close sandwich and place in pan to cook evenly on both sides. About 5 minutes per side, make sure not to burn.
Image via Shutterstock.